43rd Edition — December 1, 2019
The hardest part of learning something new is not embracing new ideas, but letting go of old ones.Todd Rose, The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness
I’m rereading The End of Average by Todd Rose who is suggesting we focus on individuality. The author tells us that experts overcome research barriers when they realize they cannot understand individuals by studying group averages.
Todd’s message should strike a chord for those working in education, training, and research of any type. The book is a meaningful read for parents too. I believe his message applies to us in business as well. For instance –
- Is there such a thing as an average recruit,
- or an average employee?
- Is there an average sales rep,
- or an average customer?
Bonus Bookmark – Don’t have time to read the book? Speed up the video of Todd presenting at a TEDx event about the myth of average. The speech hits many of the key points in his book.
2. Account Based Marketing
Every year, I read 5-10 marketing books to help me to think like customers and how they make buying decisions.
The Todd Rose book above reminds me of a new marketing book by Randy Frisch with a catchy title, F#ck Content Marketing. The author is not dishing content marketing. Instead, the premise is that writing should be placed in front of the right buyer at the right time and part of a great experience. The content and the experience are anything but average.
As a financial leader, if you have a seat at the strategy table which includes the CMO or marketing manager, suggest this book to them.
3. Type 1 and Type 2 Decisions
Strategy season is upon us replete with leadership offsite meetings where priorities, plans. and performance requirements will be hashed out.
After skimming a Rita McGrath book this week, another Jeff Bezos mental model surfaced as I was thinking about such meetings. Bezos observes there are two essential decisions every business needs to make:
- Huge implications to the company – very risky – irreversible – TYPE 1
- Rich in learning potential – low risk – reversible – TYPE 2
I’m going to make a bet that most decisions made at your offsite strategic planning meetings will be of the TYPE 2 ilk. Think about the last time you worked through a TYPE 1 decision with the CEO and the leadership team. Have the desired outcomes been met?
Bonus Bookmark – Bezos addresses TYPE 1 and TYPE 2 decisions in the 1997 Amazon annual report (see the section with the heading Invention Machine).
4. The Favorite Books of VSCO’s CEO, Joel Flory
When I read, listen, or watch young CEOs I instantly like, my knee jerk reaction is to find out what their favorite books are. That’s because I’ve never met a successful leader who does not read. Joel Flory is the CEO of VSCO which boasts 20 million users of which 2 million are paid subscribers.
Can you guess what he cares about the most based on his three favorite business books?
- Dare to Lead (no longer in print)
- Nonviolent Communication (has read at least 4 times)
- Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Bonus Bookmark – In the Elevator with VSCO CEO Joel Flory gets a thumbs up.
5. A Holiday Season Gift Idea
Who would believe that I like giving books during the holiday season?
What about the person who loves reading, but you have no idea what to give him/her? My top pick is Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charle’s T. Munger (3rd Edition). Warning, the book weighs nearly 6 pounds, but it’s a beautiful book with nearly 600 pages.
Bonus Bookmark – this compilation by Evan Carmichael of Munger’s 10 rules for success is outstanding. Notice the first rule is always keep learning. Do you agree with the 8th rule?
Title Photo Attribution – CNBC
Thank You For Reading
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Take care and have a great week. Always be learning.